Duquesne MBA Sustainability Places Second in Worldwide Competition

A team from Duquesne’s MBA Sustainability program placed second in an inaugural world competition in Davos, Switzerland, based on a case study to improve sustainability operations at an international oil and gas company.

The first Corporate Knights-Schulich Business for a Better World case competition narrowed the field from 28 teams worldwide to just five in the first two rounds. Three teams of students—from Duquesne, the first-place team from the Stockholm School of Economics and the Monterey School of International Studies—were selected for the final round in Davos, where high-profile judges attending the World Economic Forum heard their presentations on Jan. 24.

The teams were challenged to use a business plan to improve the global energy operations of Suncor Energy, sponsor of the event, based upon sustainability metrics.

“Our students have just underscored that Duquesne operates an innovative, world-class program that’s among the very best anywhere by besting 27 of 28 teams from some of the finest MBA programs in the world,” said Dr. Dean McFarlin, dean of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business.

This competition illustrates the enriching, life-changing experiences that students now expect from higher education. “This is an incredible accomplishment and a transformational experience for our students—and giving students compelling experiences is what our outstanding MBA Sustainability faculty do best,” McFarlin said.

In addition, the competition demonstrates students’ potential in the marketplace. “The team’s accomplishment is but one example of the value our students can deliver to multinational companies,” said Dr. Robert Sroufe, the Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness. “Global case competitions like this are integral in our curriculum and part of a unique Duquesne experience within a one-year MBA program.”

The Duquesne team, sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation, included Alcoa Fellow Laura Demetriou Monahan; Sustainability Fellow Jana DiSanti; and Peace Corps Fellows Alison Etheridge, who returned from Nicaragua in 2012, and Stephen Sumpter, who returned from Ethiopia in 2011.